Fortnite is the biggest game in the world right now and could become one of the biggest games of all time. It has tens of millions of players around the globe, and that looks sure to grow as it expands across gaming platforms. Fortnite Mobile is coming to Android, but when? What will it be like? How can you prepare? Let’s take a look.
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a third-person shooter battle royale game. It’s free-to-play, and the only things you can buy are costumes and skins for your character — you can’t pay to win.
Fortnite gathers together up to 100 unarmed players and drops them onto a map littered with randomly generated guns, ammo, and equipment. From there, players hunt for loot in abandoned buildings, take each other down, and build shelters and towers, all while racing to avoid the circular “storm.” The eye of the storm — where the game takes place — gets smaller as the game goes on, gradually making parts of the map uninhabitable and forcing players into increasingly closer quarters.
Staying alive and bagging kills are the only real objectives for the game. You can do that in a number of ways — outright blasting, setting clever traps, or hiding out and sniping.
You'll never forget your first win, if you're good enough
If you stay alive and have enough guns and ammo, the final stages of the game build more and more excitement, creating heart-pounding moments. It’s not easy to stay alive and get a win — you’ll never forget the first time you manage it.
Why is Fortnite so popular?
Fortnite is free. It’s also damn good fun. There are two parts to the game. Fortnite: Battle Royale is the free part everyone’s playing, where players fight against other people in the classic player-versus-player (or PvP) style. The game’s original mode, now called Save the World, launched on PC in July 2017 and costs money. It focuses on players co-operatively playing on randomly generated maps, going on missions and building fortifications to protect against the game’s storm, as well as waves of computer-controlled zombie hordes. Save the World isn’t available on mobile (more on that below).
Fortnite’s continuing success in the battle royale genre, which is dominating gaming right now, is due to it’s significantly faster pace than genre’s other big name, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Fortnite also has a major mechanic difference: you can destroy most structures and collect the materials they’re made of to build structures of your own.
Walls, floors, and stairs all come together to quickly build basic structures, which can be built miles into the air. This allows you to get behind cover quickly when taking fire, gain a height advantage over your enemies, heal your squad mates in relative safety, or even build elaborate traps. The building mechanic makes every match unique — it’s a key skill if you want to do well.
PUBG and PUBG Mobile both offer more military-style realism, as well as drivable vehicles. Fortnite offers a more frantic and fun cartoonish experience on a smaller map. Fortnite is also updated more frequently — faster than just about any other game out there. New weapons, map areas, special events, and weapon balances arrive almost every week.
One additional reason for Fortnite’s popularity is game live-streaming site Twitch. The game has become the site’s most popular game, with hundreds of thousands of people tuning in every day to watch their favorite streamers’ high-level play and entertaining commentary. Even celebrities have been getting in on the action. Drake, Joe Jonas, and a number of professional athletes — from soccer stars to NBA players — have all streamed the game on Twitch, too.
Right now, Fortnite is available on PC, Mac, Xbox, PS4, and iOS. What makes it even better is that the game can be cross-platform if you play in a squad with friends, meaning PC gamers can join console gamers, and even mobile players, to take on other squads.
Why is Fortnite free?
Fortnite is free in the style of most successful free-to-play multiplayer games. Epic Games makes money from Fortnite through players purchasing cosmetic elements — different clothing, items, emotes, dance moves, and gestures — or a Battle Pass, which unlocks more of those elements as you play.
These are clever, lots of fun, and tempting enough that loads of people are spending money on items. They’re also totally optional — you don’t have to pay a cent to do well. Items don’t grant armor, different talents, or anything else that might affect gameplay.
Why isn’t Fortnite on Android?
Android is the biggest gaming platform in the world. Epic Games said it’s planning an Android app, which small comfort considering the game’s already out on iOS. According to the company, having to support so many different makes and models is challenging.
That’s believable. All Fortnite players know the game can be unstable. It has some bugs and the servers can crash. Perhaps a simultaneous rollout on Android would be difficult to achieve.
Whatever the case, the mobile version of the game has been a hit on iOS.
— Sensor Tower (@SensorTower) April 6, 2018
Sensor Tower suggests worldwide mobile revenue for Fortnite has already made Epic Games around $2 million per day from iPhone users. Currently, only the PvP battle royale mode is available on mobile, but that’s the only one gamers care about. It’s unlikely Save the World will come to mobile devices.
“Save the World uses way more memory and CPU resources than Battle Royale and would be very difficult to bring to mobile devices,” Epic Games explained in an FAQ on its forums back in March.
When will Fortnite Mobile be released on Android phones?
In early March, Epic Games announced the Fortnite Android release will come “in a few months.” Many fans hoped that that would lead to an Android release in early May. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
Epic Games confirmed in the developer update in mid-May that it is targeting a summer window for the Android version. That means we should see Fortnite on Android between late June and early September. Without a doubt, the game will be beta tested before it is more widely launched, perhaps even weeks before the final release. We’d recommend making sure you have an account to be able to sign up for the beta as soon as it is announced.
Will my phone run Fortnite Mobile?
Knowing if your Android phone will be able to handle running Fortnite will be fascinating. In iPhone land, Epic Games supports all iPhones from the 6S on, as well as the iPhone SE, with iOS 11 required. This implies a minimum of 2GB of RAM is needed. Our own Gary Sims has discussed the differences between iOS and Android RAM requirements in the past. The two operating systems use memory very differently.
For Android, Android Oreo will likely be necessary, and 2GB of RAM may also be the minimum requirement. That doesn’t mean you need the latest smartphone, but something from at least late 2015 and onwards might be needed. We’ll find out more.
No doubt the latest and greatest smartphones will run Fortnite Mobile best. Beefy and newly released phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the Sony Xperia XZ2 both have the Snapdragon 845 SoC, which offers the best gaming experience on an Android phone. Forthcoming phones coming with the 845, like the HTC U12, LG G7 ThinQ, and the OnePlus 6, should also be on the market by the time the game comes out. Anything with the Snapdragon 835, such as the Google Pixel 2 or the Note 8 will still probably be excellent.
What are some alternatives to Fortnite Mobile?
While we wait for the Fortnite Android release, PUBG Mobile is obviously recommended as an alternative. It features all the hallmark elements of a battle royale game: winner takes all, loot management, and careful map play. Working within Duos or Squads offers similar dynamics too, if you feel like teaming up.
Of course, great PUBG Mobile gamers won’t just win automatically at Fortnite Mobile when it arrives — PUBG Mobile has a load more buttons, and Fortnite is a little smoother. Both games feature similar mechanics for movement, aiming, and shooting, though PUBG obviously lacks Fortnite’s very important building mechanic. All the same, getting the practice in now wont hurt, even if the experience is a bit different.
Rules of Survival is another mobile game that plays like PUBG. In fact, it’s so similar that it’s being sued by PUBG’s makers. In short, it’s free-to-play, and is an English-translation of a Chinese game which looks very much like PUBG. It features 120-players in each match, has a large variety of weapons and vehicles, and isn’t afraid to try things, like 300 players on a new 8km x 8km map.
Surviv.io is a much more basic mobile game. Currently it’s actually only available as a mobile browser game. It’s a top-down, simple 2D-style battle royal, with very similar principles to PUBG. It’s nothing like a FPS, but it teaches you about battle royale style games, managing loot and weapons, and avoiding the danger zones of the map. It also trains your fingers for the mechanics of smartphone movement.
We’ll keep this post updated with Fortnight Android information as it hits, and if there are any great alternatives that pop-up as well. In the meantime, be sure to check out PUBG Mobile as well as our PUBG Mobile tips & tricks guide.